Ivie Temitayo-Ibitoye, is the lead consultant at Elite Hunters, a recruitment and HR development firm. She speaks with MOBOLA SADIQ about the mistakes many businesses make regarding HR structure and talent management
As the lead consultant at Elite Hunters, what exactly do you do?
I am responsible for developing strategies to attract, develop and retain talent for corporate organisations and SMEs in diverse industries across Nigeria, as well as provide individuals with recruitment opportunities and employability strategies for career growth.
How would you describe your experience as a recruitment and HR development consultant?
My experiences have been very educative and revealing. I have become more aware of the employability gaps amongst potential employees in the country, as well as the mistakes many businesses make regarding HR structure and talent management.
Do you think the labour market is favourable to job seekers?
No; it is highly competitive. Due to the huge mass of unemployed people in the country, there is more pressure on a potential job seeker to stand out in the labour market and invariably get a job.
What are the requisites a job seeker needs to have to compete favourably in the labour market?
A job seeker must have the customised functional and general skill sets required for any job or prospective employer. By general skill sets, I mean emotional intelligence, problem-solving skills, among others, while functional skills are specific to the function or role being applied for.
It has been said that many Nigerian youths are not employable. Can this be true?
My estimate is that 80 to 90 per cent of graduates are actually unemployable.
In the past eight years of working as a recruiter, I have discovered that the educational system has contributed to the ‘unemployability’ of many of our youths. Many Nigerian youths go to universities and graduate with degrees that have no direct correlation with what the jobs (they are seeking) require, even though they had read something close in some cases. A person may have studied Banking and Finance, but a bank would still have to train the person for five months before he or she can work with them. It is not unusual to meet graduates of English Language who cannot write articles. We find that most of them are focused on salary, rather than personal development. So, when you give them an opportunity to make up for their lack of skill and knowledge, by employing them, they turn down the job offer because the salary is not enough for them.
What challenges do professionals in your field face?
Finding great talent to hire for organisations has been a major challenge. We put out job adverts and have hundreds of people apply, but we are still unable to shortlist any due to poorly written email applications, resumes and cover letters.
I have had none. I have enjoyed growth in my career and I’ve been able to make it this far with a lot of support from family and friends.
When did you set up your company and how did you come about the name?
The company was founded in 2012.
‘Elite’ means a select group that is superior in terms of ability or qualities to the rest of a group or society. ‘Hunters’ was got from the word ‘Hunt’. This means at Elite Hunters, we make it our priority to identify and source for the best talents to fill the positions required by our clients.
What other grounds do you hope to cover in the next five years?
I hope to be a catalyst for solving unemployment issues in Nigeria and also help to build platforms that will train people and help them become more employable.
What’s your advice to companies that want to grow and maintain an enviable standard?
They need to invest in their people, and build their own proprietary curriculum. They also have to be sincere about their mission and values, and have the right culture.
What is your fondest childhood memory?
Reading the newspaper to my dad is one of my fondest childhood memories. I learnt to read early and spent a lot of time with my dad mimicking the newscasters I watched on TV.
What is your favourite dish?
I like plantain and any nice sauce.
What do you do for fun?
I watch movies, or try a new recipe.
What’s your advice to young ladies trying to carve a niche for themselves?
Be dedicated and committed to your dream and goal. Don’t give up, but stay focused on your focus.